Monday, March 29, 2004

Exhortation to seize the UN and Save It From Irrelevance (and, thusly, from Itself)

Possible future Secretary Generals of the United Nations: Bush, Carter, Clinton, Ford -- on second thought, ixnae on the Ford-izzle. Imagine harnessing the seething ambitions of a failed US President and setting them up as the first effective Secretary General, the first cypher of US power on a global scale in concert with the community of nations: Imagine what we could do with the perennial problems of international slavery and piracy on the high seas and international money laundering and terrorism and the Albanian and Russian mobs, the Yakuza, warlords and oceanic pollution.

The United Nations will remain tragically irrelevant until -- Buddha forbid -- a stray asteroid wreaks havoc or, more than likely, a global epidemic in the scale of the Bubonic will force the world out of complacency and into collective action.

If only we had gone the route of the United Nations and used the goodwill of nations surrounding 9/11 to take control of that confused but infinitely useful institution (now, though, evolving into a significant but useless artifact as a result of the teddy bearish and highly irrelevant leadership of Kofi Annan, now embattled over corruption). It is sadly amusing, with a twinge of red bronze twilight how the Right engages in its favorite sport: Hysterical Criticisms of the UN ("It doesn't work," "tyrannies are on human rights commissions," "following UN mandates puts our sovereignty at risk," "The UN is only after one thang: One World Government)

Oddly, at the same time, by not participating in the UN and playing well with the other nations on this big blue marble called the planet Earth, we are in caught in a tragic self fulfilling prophecy:Blame the UN for being ineffective in combating evil on a global scale and withhold dues in punishment and, voila, you get a UN ineffective in combating evil on a global scale, reductio ad absurdum.

Of course the UN is ineffectual when unlearned hayseed munching rednecks like former Senator Jesse Helms strangled funding and resisted paying UN dues over truly Felliniesque reasoning as "the UN supports abortion in Third World (overpopulated) countries an' ah don' want our dues goin' over ta pay f'r that godlessness."

The Right seems wholly allergic to learning as well as to internationalism or any manner of enlightenment that transcends their own provincial purview of the country music venue. They are, by definition, narrow thinkers (but do not say this out loud, lest you lose the crossover vote). One would think that the threats of SARS and Terrorism and Information Piracy and Piracy on the High Seas (the evil Corsairs who kidnap and kill and rob, at will, since the Babylonians ruled the Near East) would shake them out of their complacency. We are in a global village, whether they like it or not: Welcome to the Age of Aquarius.

The US pays the overwhelming majority of dues at Turtle Bay, and, through our international lawyers -- great minds -- at Mid Century last, influenced by the calamity of Hitler and Nazism, Fascism and Japanese Imperial expansion, basically WROTE the UN Charter, along with British intellectuals, in High Surrealist Fashion, it was the US and Britain that led the unilateralism and heartbreaking bitchslapping of the UN during what history will almost certainly refer to as the Second Persian Gulf War (2003-2003).

(shakes his head) The US could easily after -- through some guile and subterfuge and goodwill and threats and the strategic withholding of monies temporarily control the UN and reform all manner of areas that are currently, well, how does one say it? Spooky. For example, we could revolutionize the Law of the Seas committee, which my father chaired in 1979. The Law of the Seas Committee and International Law pertaining to the law of the seas, which is, in the most polite manner I can muster -- a basket case.

It is time for the US to engage the UN, to take up our destiny as leader of the world -- through the UN, playing well and cooperating with others. It is high time for International Law to be followed and enforced. It is high time for an international Criminal Court (ahh, Kissinger in ankle chains trying to charm an international tribunal). And it is time for the people of the world to stop clutching at kinship of blood and kinship in religion and realize that the only kinship that will bring harmony into this pandemonium of international affairs is a kinship in our shared planetary territory, Our collective real estate, Our Planet Earth.

You, Mr. Kerry, in an act of good will should place a Republican -- preferably George Bush The Elder -- in the place of the ineffective Kofi Annan as Secretary General (you will have the votes, Mr. Kerry, especially after this scandal destroys Annan you promise to pay your UN dues and follow international law). Bush Senior was a UN Ambassador, has friends, understands building international coalitions and will soothe the paranoiac xenophobic hillbillies who instinctively fear the UN. You, Mr. Kerry can lead the world to it's next era, an International Law Era, in which the enemy are the persistent plagues of mankind and not provincial detrius.

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